Chesney’s Album Makes Powerhouse Debut

Urban Continues to Reign on Singles Chart

Kenny Chesney may have walked away from the CMA Awards empty-handed, but he’s made his mark where it really counts — at the cash register. This week, his The Road and the Radio roars in at the No. 1 spot on both Billboard’s country and the all-genre Billboard 200 album charts. The album sold 469,140 copies its first week out.

On Billboard’s country singles chart, however, Keith Urban’s “Better Life” continues its reign for the sixth consecutive week. This adds luster to an already luminous week, in which the gifted Australian copped the CMA’s entertainer and male vocalist of the year honors.

The Road and the Radio shoulders Martina McBride’s new album, Timeless, to the No. 2 slot. Rascal Flatts’ Feels Like Today holds steady at No. 3. Moving up one notch into the No. 4 berth is The Legend of Johnny Cash. Trace Adkins’ Songs About Me soars eight spaces to No. 5, Billy Currington’s Doin’ Somethin’ Right jumps three rungs to No. 6 and Gretchen Wilson’s All Jacked Up remains at No. 7. Sugarland’s Twice the Speed of Life returns to the Top 10, landing at No. 8, while Faith Hill’s Fireflies slips a notch to No. 9. Montgomery Gentry’s Something to Be Proud Of: The Best of 1999-2005 plunges from its No. 2 debut last week to No. 10.

Three albums re-enter the chart this week: Patty Loveless’ Dreamin’ My Dreams at No. 61, Lee Ann Womack’s There’s More Where That Came From at No. 68 and Johnny Cash’s The Legend at No. 69. Look for Womack to rebound next week after winning album of the year honors at the CMA Awards.

Urban’s dominance of the country singles chart continues to keep four contenders for No. 1 in a holding pattern. Chesney’s “Who You’d Be Today” is stuck at No. 2 for the second week, Joe Nichols’ “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” edges from No. 5 to No. 3, Dierks Bentley’s “Come a Little Closer” dips from No. 3 to No. 4 and Rascal Flatts’ “Skin (Sarabeth)” slides from No. 4 to No. 5.

Even the mighty Garth Brooks is at a standstill. “Good Ride Cowboy,” Brooks’ tip of the hat to the late Chris LeDoux, is tacked at No. 6 for the second week. Gary Allan’s “The Best I Ever Had” steps up from No. 9 to No. 7. For the second week, Lonestar’s “You’re Like Comin’ Home” spins its tires at No. 8. Toby Keith’s “Big Blue Note” skips from No. 10 to No. 9. And, at long last, Neal McCoy’s “Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On” muscles its way into the Top 10.

There are a few tremors farther down the chart, but no big rumbles. Hill’s “Like We Never Loved at All” inches from No. 16 to No. 13. Little Big Town edges forward to No. 15 with “Boondocks.” Tim McGraw’s “My Old Friend” strides from No. 19 to No. 17. After only four weeks on the chart, Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel” rises from No. 23 to No. 18. Jamey Johnson’s “The Dollar” sprints from No. 36 to No. 31.

The week’s highest-charting new single is Tracy Lawrence’s “If I Don’t Make It Back,” which logs in at No. 55. Also making their debut are SHeDAISY’s “I’m Taking the Wheel” at No. 57, Big & Rich’s “8th of November” at No. 59 and Chesney’s “Summertime” at No. 60.

Now go back to sleep.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to